Divert.co.uk pitched a bin-based battle of the sexes, finding men less full of neighbourly love
Whether we like it or not, the last 12 months have seen us stuck indoors, generating more waste at home. But despite the marked rise in domestic waste during lockdown, and communities pulling together to protect each other from COVID-19, you can’t really count on your neighbours to take your bin out if you’ve forgotten – at least if they’re a bloke.
A new survey by rubbish removal company Divert.co.uk polled 1,600 members of the British public about whether or not they’d take their neighbours’ bins out if they’d forgotten to do it themselves. Luckily, forgetful Brits have a two-in-three chance that nearby residents will bail them out: 67% (1,080 of 1,613) say they’d wheel out waste for absent-minded locals.
However, the poll found women twice as likely as men to carry out the task, completely obliterating the stereotype that taking bins out is a “man’s job”. Of the 739 women surveyed, 671 (91%) said they’d bail out a scatterbrained neighbour, while just 409 men out of 874 (47%) would do the same.
Despite being at home all day with nothing to do, some men showed a mixture of laziness and pettiness for their decision to pass on the opportunity to help their neighbours:
“Take his bins out? He’s always blocking our shared driveway.” Joe, Addingham
“Maybe. Maybe not. Depends if it’s raining.” James, Middlesbrough
“He’s never taken mine out. Why should I do the same for him?” Chris, Walsall
“He supports Man United. No chance.” Usman, Tameside
Meanwhile, women often appeared more aware of community spirit, or simply
“I’m more able to do it than some of my neighbours – two of them had to shield, so it’s the least I can do to help.” Rebecca, Kettering
“For the last two years, me and the other women on my road have been in a WhatsApp group, and we remind each other on the day, and get each other’s bins if we forget.” Agnieszka, Hull
“Coronavirus has helped us grow closer over the last few months, even if it’s just over the fence. You’ve got to help each other out.” Susan, Eastleigh
And yet, it’s more critical than ever to make sure your bins get emptied, thanks to changing habits:
Last October, the Local Government Association found that eight in ten councils had seen a “surge” in recycling collection volumes, with some even reporting double their pre-coronavirus takings;
In 2020, Brits took home 20% more booze, meaning more bottles to dispose of; Single-use plastic use in the UK boomed, especially due to PPE; and Bin collections are often delayed by understaffed crews due to self-isolation or positive COVID tests, as well as snow and ice in recent weeks.